Bang & Olufsen’s first foray into soundbars is an artful home audio addition
Working with Norm Architects, the Danish brand launch the Beosound Stage soundbar
It’s a balmy night in Venice. The last of the tourists are making their way into the restaurants and bars surrounding the Grand Canal, but we’re on our way into the to the Ca’ D’oro to see the latest product from Bang & Olufsen.
For the launch, the Danish brand has chosen to swerve the usual design weeks and instead present the Beosound Stage soundbar at a standalone event, hosted inside this magnificent Venetian Gothic palazzo.
‘We’re constantly trying to figure out how to do things differently to our competition,’ says Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, the brand’s Vice President of Product Management. As far as this presentation goes, it appears to be working. Flanked by Nacho Carbonell’s sprawling chandeliers and Mathieu Lehanneur’s sublime marble tables that are part of Carpenters Workshop Gallery showcase, Dysfunctional currently on view in the space, the Beosound Stage appears as sophisticated as the art around it, rather than feeling like a clunky and out-of-place tech object.
The soundbar marks a first for Bang & Olufsen, who worked alongside Norwegian firm Norm Architects when it came to the aesthetic design of the piece. With the aim of ‘humanising technology’, Norm came up with a design that is both simple in its form and material, and as-per the brand’s existing catalogue, the techy stuff is designed to be easy to use.
Set within a frame, which is available in either natural aluminium, bronze tone aluminium or smoked oak, the speaker’s functions come in the form of an engraved touch-sensitive control panel. Clever engineering leaves a two millimetre gap between the frame and fabric covered speaker, creating a trompe l’oeil that the main body is somehow suspended within its solid exterior.
For Norm, it’s the details that have taken this project to the next level. ‘Working with Bang & Olufsen has been fascinating because of our shared belief in craftsmanship,’ says Kasper Rønn von Lotzbeck, founding partner at Norm Architects.
‘Throughout the creation of Beosound Stage, there has been an uncompromising approach to sound and design – the material choice, the form factor, the sound components and the willingness from everyone involved to do iteration after iteration to get the details right.’ Rønn von Lotzbeck continues. ‘Essentially, the creative approach is what makes Beosound Stage so remarkable.’ §